Republic of Ireland crowned best nation on the planet
The Irish Republic has been crowned the best country in the world in a new survey which ranks nations according to their contribution to humanity and the planet.
The UK came seventh overall in the poll, but in a sign Britain's booming tech industry is reaping rewards, it topped the list for the best contribution to science and technology.
War-torn Iraq, Libya and Vietnam came joint bottom of the pioneering new survey, which has compiled its results for the first time this year.
The Good Country Index is the brainchild of respected policy adviser Simon Anholt, and combines 35 separate indicators from the UN, the World Bank and other international institutions, and ranks countries accordingly.
Mr Anholt said he hopes it will transform the way countries do business by encouraging them to think about the global impact of their actions, rather than their cut-throat self-interest.
He said: "The idea of the Good Country Index is pretty simple; to measure what each country on earth contributes to the common good of humanity, and what it takes away."
Mr Anholt insisted the survey was not designed to name and shame and make moral judgments about countries, but to recognise the importance of contributing to the greater good in a globalised society.
He hopes it will spark debate about what the purpose of a country is, adding: "Do they exist purely to serve the interests of their own politicians, businesses and citizens, or are they actively working for all of humanity and the whole planet? The debate is a critical one, because if the first answer is the correct one, we're all in deep trouble."
He called for countries to stop behaving "as if they are islands".
The list looks at the size of a country's economy, and then assesses its global contributions to science and technology, culture, international peace and security, world order, the planet and climate, prosperity and equality, and the well-being of humanity.